Infidelity: Getting Through It
Have you had to deal with infidelity? How did you cope? This post is directed to those who are facing such situation or still suffer from a past instance. It is a personal and up-close perspective aiming to support those in need. Others can use this information as reference to help a friend, or to have a better understanding of the situation.
Let’s look at some ways to help you get through this. You will notice that some days are better than others and you may even recognise that you have passed through or are “stuck” in one of the stages referred to previously. This may or may not be obvious, but if you are able to identify where you are at, it can be helpful to gauge where you are now compared to where you want to be.
Below are some helpful suggestions and techniques for alleviating the stress associated with the shock of infidelity. Please be reminded that if your bad days outnumber the good ones, your best option would be to seek professional assistance.
First, we are going to learn to “journal”. Writing our feelings does not always come easy however; once you start you will soon learn the benefits of getting words down and completely out of your system. Practice writing about the stages you have experienced, and if useful, allow it to be the start of your journal of feelings throughout this time in your life.
Every time you identify feelings such as anger, fear or sadness, go to your journal and write. After each entry, your feelings will have a lesser impact on your daily life.
Thought stopping is a process of interrupting obsessive thoughts as a means of blocking them from one’s consciousness. It works much like when a child puts their hands over their ears and sings loudly to block out what they do not want to hear. It can also act as a way of deliberately turning negatives cues into positive ones. Below are three thought stopping techniques for you to practice.
- Thought replacement. When an unwanted thought enters, immediately replace the thought with a healthy, rational one.
- Yelling “stop”. When the unwanted thought enters, immediately yell “STOP”. The yell can either be out loud or in the mind. Continue yelling STOP until the unwanted thought goes away.
- Visual image. If you tend to visualise negative images, replace that image with something positive and healthy. Now let’s see if this technique works for you. You no doubt are repeatedly thinking about the affair, your partner’s lover, or other details which upset you. Depending on whether this thought occurs visually or cognitively (thinking only), consciously replace it with an image or thought that automatically brings a smile to your face. For example, if you were to think repeatedly about the other person and their face often comes to mind, learn to automatically replace it with a “snap-shot” of your children at their happiest.
It is extremely difficult to be “relaxed” after the discovery of your partner’s affair; however it is equally important to get adequate sleep and rest in order to function well.
There are numerous relaxation techniques readily available from bookstores and internet sites but we will go through an easy to remember technique useful for people finding it hard to get to sleep.
- Make sure your clothing is comfortable and lie in a straight position.
- Tighten the muscles in your toes, and hold for a count of 10.
- Relax your toes and enjoy the sensation of releasing the tension from them.
- Flex the muscles in your feet, and hold for a count of 10.
- Relax your feet.
- Continue to flex and relax each muscle group as you move slowly up through your entire body, e.g. your legs, abdomen, back, arms, neck and face.
- Breathe slowly and deeply, and sleep will come.
Does it help? Write your opinion!
When I experienced infidelity I found that I was totally consumed by it 24/7 for several weeks. No matter how hard I tried I could not think positive thoughts or even try and relax and I am a strong person. What I found helpful was supportive friends who would sit and let me talk for as long as I needed. You have so many thoughts and questions running thru your head and you just need to get them out. I also learnt to take 1 step at a time, if I could just get thru the next 5 minutes etc. When things became too bad I would take a deep breath and say to myself “this too shall pass”.
The times when I was consumed by anger and unable to express it I would put loud music on and dance the anger out. I learnt how to nurture myself and be gentle with myself whilst I went thru the healing process. I personally think that the key to healing yourself is the desire to do so.
That’s a great insight Gai – thanks for sharing it!